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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Should a Tenured Professor Be Fired For This 'Joke'?

SullivanThe United States Merchant Marine Academy has begun proceedings to fire tenured professor Gregory F. Sullivan for telling this joke before he showed a documentary in his class:

If someone with orange hair appears in the corner of the room, run for the exit.

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Of course. The professor who made a *joke* about the Aurora shooting should be fired from a government run school and have his career ended.

On the other hand, the gun manufacturers and retailers who put the weapon in the assailants hands, and the gun lobbyists who encourage easy access to legal guns--and made the Aurora shooting possible--should go unpunished.

After all, recklessly endangering peoples lives isn't nearly as bad as joking about it.

And a professor is a much softer target than politically connected weapons manufacturers.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 19, 2012 4:16:24 AM

"Politically connected" to the most anti-Second Amendment administration in our history?
Kind of hard to take your trollery seriously when it originates from such a risibly wrong premise.

Your ideological soulmates are the ones trying to destroy the professor in question for a mild if tasteless joke that happens to offend their delicate, politically correct ears. Thanks for playing, better luck next time....

Posted by: Leftcoast | Aug 19, 2012 6:59:56 AM

Of course he should be fired -- probably hanged...slowly! Maybe tied to an anthill.

Today's liberals in academics don't offer forgiveness or second chances to people who, although sorry, don't meet their standards for being radical.

The document also said Sullivan had been unaware that the father of one of his students was killed in the shootings. It said he immediately apologized to the student after being told of his loss. He also offered apologies to the entire class and the administration.

He's not the kind of professor that academics wants -- not someone like Ward Churchill, Angela Davis (who supplied the guns in a murder!), Derrick Bell, or these olther fine professors: What Left-Wing Law Professors Really Think About You, and the Role of Lawyers.

Posted by: Woody | Aug 19, 2012 8:17:48 AM

No, he certainly should not be fired. The joke is of dubious taste but is clearly forgivable.

And, to Anonymous 7:16:24 AM, your argument is misguided. First, the would-be punishment for Prof. Sullivan is extralegal (i.e., he's being fired, not sued), so your analogy is off base. Second, if we "punished" the sellers of various products--alcohol, tobacco, cars, etc.--for every misuse of their products, we would live in a very draconian world. Most people just don't want that.

To Leftcoast, the Obama administration is nowhere near the most "anti-Second Amendment" in history. That is almost certainly a bit of propaganda that you've swallowed. The Democrats gave up on gun control a long time ago.

Finally,to Woody... just stop. The liberal professor shtick is just so tired... and tiresome.

Posted by: Bronte | Aug 20, 2012 3:57:38 PM

Of course he should be fired! We failed to fire anyone for 9-11. Or the Solyndra loan. Or the Ft Hood shootings, the .com bust, Enron, or hiring Bradley Manning. Not to mention at the SEC/FDIC for failing to interdict the housing bust. So firing someone for making a Bad Joke is so reflective of it all.

Posted by: Bemis | Aug 20, 2012 4:08:06 PM

Bronte, sorry for boring you, but I'm not wrong, am I?

Posted by: Woody | Aug 20, 2012 8:58:09 PM

Well, the joke was certainly in bad taste and not particularly funny in any way, but I don't think it reflects so poorly upon the professor's character that he should be fired. It doesn't appear to be related to his teaching ability in any way, so the only justification I can see for firing him (aside from a PR-related justification, which isn't really a justification at all) must have to do with his character, and I don't think one off-the-cuff joke is enough to make an informed evaluation about that.

Posted by: Kevin | Aug 21, 2012 5:45:21 AM

Bronte, I saw this today and found it interesting, even though some may find it "tiresome." This is a small sample, but there are other studies if one wants to deny its conclusions. It's really sad for the students. All hail diversity!

Study:">">Study: academia really does discriminate against conservatives -- 08/20/2012

It’s no secret that academia is overwhelmingly liberal; so much so that many conservative professors may feel like they are in enemy territory. But a new study suggests that conservatives may have good reason to feel uneasy. Between a quarter and a third of liberal social psychologists indicated in survey responses that they would discriminate against conservatives in hiring decisions and grant proposals. ....

Inbar worries that this hostile climate discourages conservatives from joining traditional academic environments. “People who hold more conservative views may actually be feeling pushed out of our field,” he said.

The result? Universities that are self-segregated by ideology.

Okay, I'm finished...for now.

Posted by: Woody | Aug 21, 2012 5:57:05 AM

No. He should not be fired. Instead we should burn the first amendment. Is the professor working for China-which does not believe in the first amendment or Russia? no! It is the good'old USA who has more people in prison than both China and Russia combined! Get real-we are the third world country-we have no right to complain about freedom in China and Russia when we grant none here.
That part-lack of freedom of speech is no joke. I would sue the Academy for wrongful termination-and if i was sitting on the jury I would hand the USMMA its rear and demand that United States be stricken from its name.

Posted by: Nick Paleveda MBA J.D LL.M | Aug 30, 2012 1:13:53 PM